Speaker Anita Among has constituted a committee of five MPs to draft a motion, which will include resolutions calling on government to address the grievances of teachers of arts subjects.
The committee members include: Chairperson of the Committee on Education and Sports, John Ntamuhira; Chairperson of the Committee on Public Service and Local Government, Godfrey Onzima; Shadow Minister of Education Brenda Nabukenya; Erute County South MP Jonathan Odur; and Workers Representative Agnes Kunihira.
“If you have issues that you want to raise, take them to that committee so that we do not debate again. We only adopt the resolutions,” said Among.
She added: “The fact that the report of the education committee was also distorted and was adopted by this House, I would now want a motion to be presented tomorrow on the resolutions that the House passed on the report of education on the action plans. That is what we should resolve.”
The Speaker’s ruling followed a statement by the Minister of Public Service, Wilson Muruli Mukasa, during plenary on Wednesday, July 06, 2022, on enhancement of pay of public officers and the recent industrial action by the Uganda National Teachers’ Union (Unatu).
The industrial action was only suspended on Monday, July 04, 2022 following a meeting between the Unatu leadership and government officials and also attended by President Yoweri Museveni at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds in the capital Kampala.
Among said that the minister’s report did not indicate clear actions to address the grievances of teachers of arts subjects.
“Government says they are implementing salary enhancement in a phased manner. If it was effective, we would not be witnessing the industrial action. This is an embarrassment to us,” she said.
She added that education is an important aspect of skilling the population, and therefore, the teachers have to be motivated.
“A population of unhappy teachers will not groom better leaders. You are better leaders because of the teachers. We hope for lasting solutions,” she said.
She added that whilst the country is still recovering from the Covid19 pandemic which affected the national resource envelope, government has the duty to ensure equity in salary enhancement of public servants.
Meanwhile, Nabukenya recommended equitable allocation of the monies budgeted for science teachers to benefit arts teachers as well, saying that since 2012, science teachers have been getting 30 percent over and above their counterparts.
“Government should immediately present an Amendment Bill to the Appropriation Act for Parliament to provide additional financing for purposes of enhancing wages for all teachers, including arts teachers,” added Nabukenya.
Nabukenya also called for the fast-tracking of the establishment of a Salary Review Commission to streamline earnings for all public officers.
Earlier, Minister Muruli Mukasa presented a statement on the matter of the demand for salary increment for arts teachers as well as primary school teachers. (Read Story Here).
Additional Reporting: Parliament of Uganda
MORE STORIES ON UNATU ENDING STRIKE
MORE STORIES ON OUR COVERAGE OF ARTS TEACHERS’ STRIKE & SALARY INCREMENT CIRCUS
MORE ON SCIENCE TEACHERS’ SALARY INCREMENT
MORE ON SALARY INCREMENT CIRCUS
In order to improve service delivery and end the challenge of strikes over low pay, President Museveni’s government has proposed huge salary increments for teachers, doctors and other employees starting July 2022. (Read Story Here)
The proposed increments have left many people wondering if government will really fulfill this pledge and increase salaries by very high amounts.
For example, opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye has argued that the promise of salary increment is just ‘another lie.’ (Read Story Here).
Finance Minister Matia Kasaija recently said the money for increasing teachers’, doctors’ and other civil servants’ salaries was available. (Read Story Here).
In August 2021, cabinet approved salary increment for teachers, doctors and other health workers. (Read Story Here).
See the salary structure that had been proposed for the current financial year here.
Meanwhile, an NRM MP has angered teachers after telling them they are too poor to go on strike. (Read Story Here).